Posts Tagged ‘Rosario Dawson’

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, Oktober 15th, 2010


Throughout this partly autobiographical film, writer-director-lead character Dito Montiel tries very hard to push the boundaries of cinema – with often disastrous results. Through the story of how he abandoned everyone at his Brooklyn home when going to Los Angeles and how he returned when his father was very sick, he tries to present a message that is completely lost in the over-ambitious, often pretentious drivel the film largely resorts to. There is a good story somewhere and a few scenes hint at what could have been possibly in that story about growing up in hard times, but the film is much too clever for its own good to ever reach the heights it aspires too.

Random Observations:

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints at the IMDb

The film is based on the book Montiel wrote about his life, where apparently the title makes some kind of sense. Here, it is just more pretentious drivel.

The cast is headlined by the solid Robert Downey Jr. and includes a for once middling Shia LaBeouf. Considering that he is normally the worst actor of his generation, that is quite an accomplishment.

Considering that Montiel first made his name (and a lot of money) through music, it probably would have been a good idea to explore that theme somewhat more than in a few throwaway lines.

Death Proof – Minute Movie Review

Montag, Oktober 11th, 2010


A group of attractive young woman meets the mysterious and creepy Stuntman Mike, whose fetish is deadly car crashes. Naturally, things don’t end well for the girls, but luckily Mike meets some more formidable opponents as his next targets. Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the grindhouse thrillers, cheap exploitation flicks designed to entertained and titillate, is far too sophisticated for its own good. The fake scratches in the picture can not disguise the polished design. Tarantino made an entertaining film – even his worst efforts, such as this one, are that – but it works neither as a homage nor a spoof of a genre that is probably best forgotten. Simply put: a bad script and bad acting do not make a so-bad-it’s-good film, you also need a bad director for that. Undone by his own vanity, Tarantino luckily went on to make the far superior Inglourious Basterds.

Random Observations:

Death Proof at the IMDb

I first saw the film in an open-air cinema back in 2007, the only showing of the original Grindhouse double bill (combined with Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror) in Germany. It started to really rain after the first thirty minutes, so I left early. And while the rest of the film is slightly better than the beginning, it’s not any better than I hoped or expected.

When you desperately need bad actors, it’s not such a bold move to cast a stuntwoman (Zoe Bell) in a lead role. Surprisingly, her acting doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.

The female dialogue Tarantino writes is so annoying that you can’t help but root for bad guy Kurt Russell, who while not cool or scare, at least is not annoying. At least until his inevitable breakdown into a crying baby.

I really should have put spoiler tags on that last paragraph. My bad.

Josie and the Pussycats – Minute Movie Review

Montag, Juni 14th, 2010


Reviled by critics and ignored by audiences, this adaptation of characters from the Archie comics is actually a clever satire of pop music and teenage culture. It’s hilariously over-the-top in almost every way, features surprisingly good (and delightfully silly) music and the most unpaid product placement in film history, all in order to parody the world we used to live in back in the good old days 0f 2001 – not that much has changed. After boy group Du Jour catch onto the fact that their music features subliminal messages to get teenage fans to part with their allowance, the “Chevy is taken to the levy” and svengali Alan Cumming quickly has to find a new band, finding aspiring rock musicians Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid (in the best performance of her lifetime, even if she wasn’t in on the joke) who jump at the chance to become superstars. The film deteriorates a bit in the second half when the satire has to make way for some silly plot, but overall it’s a vastly underrated and clever film.

Random Observations:

Josie and the Pussycats at the IMDb

The first scenes with Du Jour, starring Breckin Meyer and Seth Green, are amongst the funniest in the film, perfectly setting the tone for what is to come. Their hit song “Backdoor Lover” is also quite hilarious. And yes, it’s about exactly what you think it is about.

I don’t really know, but I’m fairly certain that apart from character names, the film has nothing to do with it’s comic book origins.

I think the problem many critics had with the film was that they could not spot that in order to satire certain things, the film actually had to do them. On the other hand, I would like to believe that professional film critics are smart enough to realize that having the logos of 73 companies featured prominently throughout the film (including the McDonalds logo on a shower wall) is not product placement, but satire thereof.

Adventskalender 12

Samstag, Dezember 12th, 2009

Click the link to open the twelfth door. Klick auf den Link, um das zwölfte Türchen zu öffnen.

(weiterlesen …)

Comic Book Movie July – Sin City

Dienstag, Juli 22nd, 2008

Sin City is pulp. Sin City is violent. Sin City is cruel. But it’s aware of all that, so it’s okay, really. Frank Miller wrote first one and then many stories set in this fictional town. Stories that explored the darker side of society. Stories that were populated by criminals, thugs, drug lords, prostitutes and unlikely heroes. Stories that were common and yet strangely new and unique. They were heralded more for their unusual visual style than for their content. And thus Miller was happy creating comics, never thinking about turning them into a film. But then along came Robert Rodriguez and everything changed.

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Rent

Freitag, März 14th, 2008


Rent is based on the famous opera “La Boheme”. The story is transported into the early ’90s and into New York’s alphabet city, but the general story is still very similar. The protagonists deal with poverty, AIDS and what “boheme” actually means – each while trying to solve the problems in their lives. Friendships and relationships are destroyed and later repaired and all set to rock music and songs that actually advance the story. The film is a direct adaptation of the Broadway musical, even starring most of the original cast. But this is also maybe its weakest point, since they are all about a decade older than their personae and this is sometimes painfully obvious. Nevertheless, the story is moving and the music and singing is good, so most people will gladly overlook it.

Random Observations:

Rent at

People familiar with the stage musical will be glad to hear that the songs missing from the movie were actually recorded as well and are included as bonus material on the DVD.

Many people criticize the film for being “out of touch with reality” since AIDS isn’t recognized as the threat it was considered in the early ’90s anymore. Nevertheless, the lessons of the movie (just like those of the original opera) are pretty much timeless and certainly deserve to be heard today.